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An environmental history of the Fraser River (British Columbia) and the attempts to dam it for power and to defend it for salmon. Amid contemporary debates over large dam development and declines in fisheries, Fish Versus Power offers a case study of a river basin where development decisions did not ultimately dam the river, but rather conserved its salmon. Although the case is local, its implications are global as Evenden explores the transnational forces that shaped the river, the changing knowledge and practices of science, and the role of environmental change in shaping environmental debate. The Fraser is the world's most productive salmon river; it is also a large river with enormous waterpower potential. Very few rivers in the developed world have remained undammed. On the Fraser, however, fish – not dams – triumphed, and Fish Versus Power seeks to explain why.
List of tables, figures, photographs and maps
List of abbreviations
1. 'A rock of disappointment'
2. Damming the tributaries
3. Remaking hells gate
4. Pent-up energy
5. The power of aluminium
6. Fish versus power
7. The politics of science
"Evenden approaches the story of hydroelectric power from a fresh angle. [...] Unlike many other environemtnal histories, Evenden's book offers a relatively hopeful tale, one where a balance between technological progress and preservation is struck."
– National Post, Canada